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Mahmoud Abbas says he is suspending all agreements with Israel

PA president says new committee will work on ending agreements, without providing details
Abbas meets with Palestinian leadership on 25 July (AFP)

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas announced the creation of a committee charged with pulling the PA out of all agreements with the Israeli government.

During an emergency meeting with cabinet members on Thursday, Abbas declared - not for the first time - an end to all signed agreements with Israel. 

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"We announce the leadership's decision to stop implementing the agreements signed with the Israeli side," he said in a televised speech during the meeting in Ramallah, as reported by official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

In his speech, Abbas denounced Israel for the recent demolition of dozens of Palestinian homes on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, saying that it was a catalyst for the decision to suspend the agreements. 

The creation of a committee that would lead the effort to withdraw from all agreements is in line with rules laid out by the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Central Council.

The PA and Israeli governments cooperate on many crucial matters in the occupied West Bank, including water distribution and security coordination. 

Abbas, 84, has made similar threats before and not implemented them.

Most notably, in 2015 he declared during a speech at the UN General Assembly that the PA would no longer "continue to be bound by these agreements with Israel".

Other Palestinian officials have also threatened in the past to stop implementing all accords with Israel, but a full cancellation of agreements with the Israeli government has never come to fruition.

'Not for sale' 

Abbas has also reiterated his rejection of US-led efforts to bring a solution to the conflict.

Palestinians have rebuked the administration of Donald Trump since the US president decided to unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a move denounced by most of the international community.

Trump has also cut funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and closed down the PLO's office in Washington. Still, the White House says it is pushing ahead with its peace plan, dubbed the "deal of the century". 

"We will not surrender and we will not coexist with the occupation, nor will we accept the 'deal of the century'," Abbas said on Thursday. 

The plan is yet to be released, but US officials have said that it will focus on improving the Palestinian economy - a promise seen as an attempt to buy off the quest for self-determination.

"Palestine and Jerusalem are not for sale or bargain. They are not a real estate deal in a real estate company," Abbas said in his speech.

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